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Mill River Dinner Theater

Proudly presents

One Toe In The Grave

Reviewed by Don Gillis, January 18, 2003

Mill River's regional premiere of One Toe in The Grave by Jack Sharkey reminds this reviewer of Neil Simon's one liners and complicated situations.  I saw some excellent performances.

Business executive Jason Kingsley  played by Laurence Cagle rises up his company's corporate ladder by faking a marriage to an imaginary wife bed-ridden with a rare disease (marriage is one of his corporation's requirements to sit on the board of directors).

 Although Kingsley has finally found a real fiancée in dental assistant Nicki Channing (Dana Damiani), things become complicated when boss, T.B. Murdock (Alex Ness), arrives for dinner on the same night the couple plans to elope.

Laurence Cagle performs the role of Jason , the business executive who has more twists and turns of dialogue than you could think of.  His deliverance is top rate as always and this veteran is always a pleasure to watch.  You can forget not having a good time when Laurence is on stage.  He is the best!.

Dana Damiani adds just the right amount of sugar to make her persona of the young fiancée believable.  She has tons of lines, and she has them down pat with a most enjoyable presentation .  She is a wonderful talent and pretty classy too.  She bounces off Cagle nicely and makes her character one of the best in the show.  

As the wise-cracking maid Naomi, Kim Alessandro does a great job as the harried maid who is desperately trying to please her boss.  Her going in and out of the kitchen really kept Kim busy just running around, not to mention stepping in for the actress who bowed out just 8 rehearsals before the play opened.  Kim did an awesome job having to learn over 100 lines of scripts  and blocking in a very short period.  She's a trouper and never lets her audience down.  What a nice performance!!!

Jordan Cannady plays Doug, the doctor, who has had an affair with Nicki, who is engaged to Jason.  Jordan plays the doctor role with substance and solid delivery of lines and facial expressions were top rate.

Another nice performance was given by Alex Ness who plays Thorton.  This role gave Alex the opportunity to showcase his talents in a more demanding role than I have seen him in before.  He did a great job with it, and his future shows should be interesting to see.

Pauline Carlson stands out as the ditzy blonde Poopsie who has a better head on her shoulders than she lets on. Her one liners were gems, and the audience loved her!.  Great job!~

    Your heart goes out to Gladys Cole as Vonga, the jungle girl raised by ostriches who arrives toward the end of the play   She is better than her role allows and is a joy to watch on stage and off stage is  truly a very pleasant gal.  Nice job Gladys!!!

Jack Sharkey, the author, has a solid script, even though it may be far fetched, its just light and crazy enough to make an enjoyable evening of dinner and theater.

 There are many light-weight laughs to be had in "One Toe in the Grave." and you will be delighted that an able cast spruces up the expired jokes in a most highly improbable plot which concludes with a surprising twisted conclusion.

Don't miss this wacky comedy-farce directed by veteran director Chuck Petitbon. Along with his wonderful wife Marcia, they provided a most enjoyable production - one of the best that I have seen at Mill River Dinner Theater.

Opening night was SOLD OUT!.  Call now for reservations which are required.

I love feedback , say hello!

Don Gillis
Little Rhody Theater


Reservations:   ( 401) 721-0909
  One Toe In The Grave
Jan 17 - Feb 16, 2003
499 High Street
Central Falls, RI